The Upton Restaurant at Dock and Pear Streets in the Old City section of Philadelphia displayed a larger version of this work as an advertising signboard in the early nineteenth century. The artist, John Archibald Woodside, Sr., turned to precedents in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European still life painting for inspiration, extending his sign-painting skills into the realm of fine art. William Dunlap, the author of the first history of American art (published in 1834), described Woodside as a sign painter “with talent beyond many who paint in higher branches.” This picture was once owned by Philadelphia still life artist Joseph Biays Ord, whose works are also in the Museum’s collection.
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